AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah Tuesday pooh-poohed attempts by the opposition parties to cobble a grand alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, asserting it will not hurt the prospects of the BJP to return to power.
The comments by Modi and Shah come a day after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu's daylong fast in Delhi became a rallying point for opposition unity for the second time in less than a month to take on the BJP at the hustings.
On January 19, 22 opposition parties came together at a rally in Kolkata convened by West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Delhi's ruling AAP is also planning a mega rally of non-BJP leaders Wednesday against the Modi government in the national capital.
While Modi mocked the planned 'mahagathbandhan' as "maha-milawat"(highly adulterated), saying all the faces in this grouping are only indulging in competition in threatening and abusing him, Shah dubbed the alliance as coming together of state-level leaders "not standing a chance" in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Shah also claimed that Modi has rock-solid support of people.
Modi said his government will speed up the campaign to rid the country of the corrupt, claiming that only such people had a problem with him while the honest trusted the 'chowkidar'.
Modi sought people's support in the campaign in his address at the "Swachh Shakti 2019", an event to recognise the leadership role played by rural women in the Swachh Bharat Mission towards achieving a clean and open defecation free country by October 2 this year.
"In 2014, you gave your votes for an honest and transparent government. Middlemen and those who snatched the rights of the poor have been thrown out of all the systems," he said.
"Every honest person in the country trusts this 'chowkidar' (watchman) but those who are corrupt, have a problem with Modi," he said.
Modi said some people in Haryana are worried over the ongoing investigations by probe agencies against them.
"Even in Haryana, you are witnessing how some people are worried because of probe by investigating agencies," he said without naming anyone.
There are investigations against former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress president Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law Robert Vadra for alleged irregularities in land deals in the state.
"All the faces of this 'maha-milawat' are indulging in competition of threatening and abusing investigating agencies, court and Modi," the prime minister said.
"But you rest assured, this 'chowkidar' will neither be threatened or browbeaten with their threats and abuses, will neither stop nor bow down. Our 'safai' campaign to rid this country of the corrupt and the dirt is going to be further accelerated. For this campaign, your blessings should continue,"he added.
Shah sought to know from the opposition parties their prime ministerial 'face' and leader of their proposed grand alliance.
Addressing BJP leaders and workers from Gujarat after launching the 'Mera Parivar-Bhajapa Parivar' voter outreach campaign in Ahmedabad, Shah said a full majority government was required to enable Modi to continue serving the needy.
"The 2019 Lok Sabha election is an important step for India to become a superpower in the world. I have travelled across the country and I can see that people are standing like a rock with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I have seen love for Modi in people's eyes," he said.
Shah said BJP workers ask him about the 'mahagathbandhan'. "I want to tell them that it will not have any impact," he said.
"What will happen if (former prime minister and JD-S supremo) Deve Gowda gives a speech in Gujarat or (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee in Maharashtra or (former UP chief minister) Akhilesh Yadav in Kerala? It will not have any impact whatsoever because they are only state-level leaders," the BJP president said.
Asking party workers to reach out to people, Shah said they need not worry as the opposition parties "do not stand a chance" in the coming election.
"I want people of this gathbandhan to declare their candidate for PM's post. Who is your leader? Who will run this country? We are very clear about it. Modiji will be the NDA candidate and only he will lead us," he said.
On BJP's prospects in Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for the highest number of 80 Lok Sabha seats, Shah said his party will win "nothing less than 74 seats" there.
The Modi government has worked to end corruption and to support 22 crore people through various programmes in its maiden term in office.
"I would like to tell all party workers that the Modi government has not done anything to make BJP workers hang their heads in shame. Meet people with pride, they are ready to welcome Modiji," he said.